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Yes, you’ve read it right – Jessy Lanza is back with a whole new album. Her solo track Lick in Heaven was her first since the sensational Oh No in 2016, which was influenced by Japanese ‘80s electro to the outfit Yellow Magic Orchestra.

Jessy the analogue enthusiast has infused each track with a fun pop sensibility in All the Time, while also maintaining a profundity in concept and lyrics, a combination that many artists try and fail to accomplish. But accomplish she has, and we discuss the several inspirations for her tracks, my favourite being Lick in Heaven. This song is inspired by the diminutive cultural attitude toward womxn, and the superficial standards we are expected to uphold. Though upbeat, fun-loving and inclusive, the video and lyrics speak of a sense of disquiet, which is mirrored in her concept of a daytime TV show. As she breaks the rules of daytime TV, she equally challenges the societal strictures designed to keep womxn in their place. For lack of a better phrase; what a f***ing boss!

It’s been four years you’ve released a solo track, and now you’re back with a full album, All the Time! How does it feel to return to the scene amidst a pandemic?
Releasing All the Time has been a very different experience from my last two albums! Right now, connecting with people in whatever way we can is really important. I feel lucky that people can spend time with my album and that my music could play a role in someone’s life during this unprecedented time.
How did DJing compare to releasing your own music?
I love to DJ because it’s a great way to share what I’m listening to and promote artists that I’m inspired by. Every time I DJ a radio show or make a mix, I’m still learning and experimenting. DJing is a really fun way for me to explore where my own tracks and voice fit in with all of the music I’m inspired by.
I hear you’re an analogue enthusiast. What is it about analogue that inspires you? Is it the search for something new in pop, in an overwhelming sea of repetitive, predictable, sound?
Searching for a unique sound is a big part of it. I also get a lot out of working with the physical instruments. Learning how to organize my own patch bay and setting up equipment outside of a digital environment was a big learning curve for me. You can do the same things in the computer but I found that a tactile experience helps me to really understand what I’m doing in the studio.
Regarding the inspiration for Face, you’ve stated that “I was fantasizing about what everyone was thinking based on their expressions.” How do you feel now that many of those people’s faces are now covered with masks and their expressions masked? You could make a whole new album out of that!
Absolutely you could! My living situation is so different now that I’m not living in New York. I can observe people in the grocery store here in Silicon Valley, but it’s not the same because they’re completing a task, rather than waiting for a subway ride to end.

You had to film Face in a very DIY, impromptu manner because of coronavirus restrictions. Is this accidental scenario something you’d return to in the future?
Face is a special video to me because it was so important for us (director Winston Case and I) to have a focus at the beginning of quarantine. I’m really grateful for the experience and it’s cool to have a capsule of that moment in time, but I would prefer a few more helping hands for any videos we make in the future.
I love how in your video for Lick In Heaven you feature adults of all ages, shapes, sizes and ethnicities, having fun and dancing their asses off. This is something that’s very refreshing to see in a pop video. Is inclusivity something you’re passionate about?
Thank you! Yes, inclusivity is very important to me. We thought a daytime TV show would be an interesting setting for the video because it’s such an unnatural and uncomfortable scenario. As much as those shows try to present as warm and inclusive, I’ve always found them to be the opposite.
Behind the energetic beat and fun-loving video, Lick in Heaven appears to harbour a deeper message. Could you tell me a little about what this is?
There are many ways that mainstream culture influences and guides what is considered ‘appropriate’ behaviour for womxn. We thought it would be fun to play with the rules of daytime TV in the Lick in Heaven video.

Apparently, you’ve previously been teaching teenage girls electronic producing! I think that’s wonderful, especially as producing is often seen as a male area of expertise (how wrong they are!). Are you thinking of pursuing this again? Do you think music education can be gender-biased?
I think mentorship is an important part of learning a technical skill, and unfortunately, that is an area filled with gender-bias. That’s why the production workshops were so important to me, because I think fostering those relationships with young womxn is crucial to making technical spaces more inclusive.
You wrote and produced your new record alongside the wonderful Jeremy Greenspan. Do you find that collaboration is key when creating excellent music?
Absolutely! I need to have that collaborative process to make music. It wouldn’t be as much fun for me if I didn’t have someone to share my songs with.
From studying in jazz school to producing, writing and performing hit pop records and touring the world; you’ve taken the music world by storm. Where do you see your music evolving from here on out?
That’s so sweet of you to say – thank you! Right now it’s hard to say where my music career will go. I rely so much on live shows as a way to connect with fans and get a sense of how the music is resonating with them. I am going to keep writing while I have the time at home and see what happens next.

Lara Delmage
Jenia Filatova

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